(Surat al-Ra’d: 7)
You are truly one who forewarns, and for every people there is a guide
This article was written by Shehzada Dr Aziz bhaisaheb Qutbuddin in 2015.
Our belief is that in every day and age a living Imam must be present to guide mumineen to Siraat-e-Mustaqeem. In the time of seclusion, his Dai must be known and present to guide mumineen to the Imam and the Straight Path. This belief is anchored in the Quran-e-Majeed. Addressing Rasulullah SA, the ayat quoted above states, “you are truly one who forewarns, and for every people there is a guide” (Surat al-Ra’d: 7).
In Da’aimul-Islam (Part-1), Syedna Qadi al-Nu’maan narrates a statement by the 5th Imam, Imam Mohammedul Baqir SA, commenting on the ayat above. The Imam states that, “the one who forewarns (munzir) is Rasulullah SA, and in every age there is an Imam who guides people to the message that Rasulullah SA brought forth. The first of these guides is Maulana Ali b. Abi Talib SA, then his successors, one after the other.”
Just as Rasulullah SA was Allah Ta’ala’s messenger and guided those who were present in his time, it is Allah Ta’ala’s wisdom and justice that in every day and age, a successor to Rasulullah SA be present. Syedna al-Mu’ayyad RA argues that there have been more pious and more noble people in the years after Rasulullah SA, so how is it just that those in Rasulullah’s SA time received direct guidance and intercession while those who are perhaps more deserving in later ages do not. Just as Rasulullah SA would answer the questions posed to him, his successors would be present to answer the questions that arise with the changing times. Just as Rasulullah SA would intercede, bear witness, and pray for forgiveness for those in his time, his successors would do so until the day of the Judgment.
Syedna Hamiduddin al-Kirmani RA, the Babul Abwaab of Imam Hakim Biamrillah SA, composed a kitaab to establish the necessity of the Imamate in every day and age. The kitaab is entitled ‘al-Masabeeh fi ithbaat al-Imamah’. Syedna Hamiduddin RA begins by setting forth the proofs (barahin) for the existence of our Creator and then goes on to establishing the necessity of Prophets, before coming to the necessity of an Imam in every age. Establishing the necessity of the Prophets, this is one of the arguments that Syedna Hamiduddin RA presents (a paraphrase of the text):
When Allah Ta’ala created the universe, He created humans differently, specifically in their acquiring of knowledge. The birds and animals instinctively know the skill required for their survival. A duck knows how to swim, chicks know how to pierce the wood or peck with their beaks, a certain bird (Khuttaf) knows to collect yarqaan stones (black and red stones that have a curing effect) if they see their chicks are yellow and jaundiced. Unlike these birds and animals, humans must be taught. If a human baby was not taught by his parents and teachers he would not know anything and would be no better than the animals. His soul would be idle and useless without the knowledge that it has the potential to acquire. It would be unwise that a Wise Creator who has created humans with such potential would leave them unenlightened. It is then necessary, as part of the Creator’s wisdom and justice, that the human soul that is most prepared to receive knowledge is enlightened by the unseen Creator. That human soul in turn is then in the place of the Creator who has enlightened him with respect to teaching and guidance of other humans. The enlightening by the Creator is the sending of Messengers, the one enlightened is the Prophet, and therefore Prophethood is necessary.
The philosophy of having a living guide amongst us is a cornerstone of our belief system. If it was sufficient to believe in the 52nd Dai RA after his wafaat, then it would logically be sufficient to believe in Rasulullah SA and not in Maulana Ali SA. For if the acceptance of Rasulullah SA was sufficient without the acceptance of Maulana Ali SA, then the acceptance of Allah Ta’ala would be sufficient without the acceptance of his Prophet Mohammed Rasulullah SA. The declaration of Rasulullah’s Prophethood is inextricably connected with the declaration of the Oneness of Allah Ta’ala.
We offer thanks to Allah Ta’ala that we believe in the Prophethood of the munzir Rasulullah SA and every guide (haad - Imam) in his progeny and every Dai in the Imam’s seclusion. We offer thanks to Allah Ta’ala that we believe and receive guidance from the successor to the 52nd Dai, the 53rd Dai al-Mutlaq, Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin TUS.